Britain to pull out troops from Bosnia

March 1, 2007 at 2:54 PM

LONDON, March 1 (UPI) -- Britain is withdrawing its troops from Bosnia-Herzegovina, 15 years after it sent a regiment to escort humanitarian aid during the ethnic wars in the Balkans.

The British government in scheduled to pull out in April the last 630 troops still serving in Bosnia, The Times of London reported Thursday.

Former Defense Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, in 1992 said British troops would stay in Bosnia for a year.

However, the deployment of British soldiers in Bosnia has changed from protecting aid convoys to peacekeeping and military intervention to force ethnic leaders of the former Yugoslavia gather at talks in the U.S. Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio, that ended the Balkan wars in November 1995.

British Defense Minister Des Browne recently said the troops currently are performing police duties in Bosnia, while he badly needed soldiers for a mission in Afghanistan, The Times said.

NATO had peacekeepers in Bosnia until 2004 when the European Union took over command of the peacekeepers.

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